Saturday, October 23, 2010

"On Fire": 5. It Really Is a "Lucky" Number.

"For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."---Psalm 84:11 (NKJV)

Today is one of those days when I'm gonna preach to myself. For real.

All this week, I couldn't totally put my finger on why, but things were *really rough* on me...emotionally. I kept getting the sense that I was grieving something. As I was reading up on detoxing last night (that's what the Lord led me to read about), I came upon a list that oddly seemed to bring me comfort:

There's a wide variety of reactions that could manifest during a cleanse/detox, the most common are:

Cold or flu-like symptoms
Extreme fatigue/restlessness
Aches, Pains
Arthritic flair up

Sinus Congestion
Frequent urination and/or urinary tract discharges
Drop in blood pressure
Skin eruptions, including: boils, hives, and rashes.
Mood swings

Amazing how sometimes you have to feel worse before you can feel better, ain't it? It's a trip how sometimes, even when you are doing your best to live right...things feel all wrong. As I took an assessment over my life and the commitment I have made to not "go back there", even if it's just to temporarily relieve this perpetual ickiness I am experiencing, while reading over this list, I decided to chalk up a lot of my current discomfort to just this: spiritual detox...and the grieving of someone who was once very special to me.

Whenever people ask me what it's like to lose a fiance', especially at the age of 21, I often say that the hardest part is knowing that Damien never got to meet the woman I Lord, I was such a mess back when "he knew me when" that I often describe our relationship as "Hosea and Gomer. Part 2." My self-esteem was so low at the time that I didn't know how to love him the way that he deserved. I recall Bill Clinton once saying, in response to why he cheated in his wife, Hillary, that he did love her. He just didn't love her well.

I get it. I soooooo get it.

And so, as I was trying to put together the source of my insomnia, anxiety, irritability and tears...tears that seemed to come out of nowhere almost every day for about the past five days, I thought about the season that I am in. Damien would've been 36 on October 6. It will be 15 years since he died on November 3. 13 days from the day I'm penning this. In the Bible "15" symbolizes "divine grace". Hmph.

The detox part of the journey is that I think I am really and fully letting him go this year. Not my love for him but my using him as a standard of what I need in this life. Damien Ashley Bell was who I that time. This's time for something different. I'm a new woman. A new experience is awaiting me.

The grief comes from wondering what my life would have been like had he still been here. There is a part of me that wishes so much that he got "this Shellie" rather than "that one". I went to Damien's funeral but I now see that our relationship, I never fully buried. It's time for that too. My human trinity (mind, body, spirit) is telling me so. He's taking up some heart space that belongs to someone else. It's time to reconcile that now.

So what does this all have to do with the title of today's message?

I read today that Celine Dion gave birth to her long-awaited twins. That made me smile...for a lot of reasons. One, because she's 42 and as a 36-year-old woman who still desires a child (or two) of her own, it's nice to get a nudge, once again, that "timing is the Father's business" (Acts 1:7-Message). Yet, what really caused me to feel a sense of joy that I haven't been able to find all week long is that I remember what Celine was quoted as saying...just months ago. In the February 10 (2010) posted article on, in response to four failed in vitro procedures, Celine said:

1) "I'm going to try this until it works."

2) "Five's my lucky number. So this is the time it's got to work."

Romans 5:5. Romans with two "5s" tells us that "Hope does not disappoint." My mom calls me her "signs and wonders" child often. It's cool because even the Word tells us that what seems like accidents are of the Lord (Proverbs 16:33-AMP) and I love waking up and expecting the Lord to speak to me...randomly. Some may say it's by pure chance that I would wake up from my all-day Sabbath nap today and read Celine's praise report. But you see, I know what "5" biblically-symbolizes. It's GRACE. I also know what "8" biblically-symbolizes. NEW BEGINNINGS.

It was just eight months ago when things seemed really bleak for Celine and her husband Rene. JUST EIGHT MONTHS AGO. And now, not only does she have another child...but two: twin boys. She said that "grace" is her lucky number. In our bleakest moments, this is how we should see our lives as well. Just as Hebrews 4:16 encourages, when things seems hopeless, because we know that's not true...because we know that hope does not disappoint, we should not just "go to the throne of grace" but BOLDLY SO to get the mercy (divine favor) and grace (strength) that we need. Because indeed, Elohim supplies all of our needs (Philippians 4:19).

Some days we need grace more than others.

There's a verse in the Bible that says, "But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony." (Luke 21:13-NKJV) Just think if Celine had given up hope. I would've awakened from my slumber and, while I'm sure the Lord would have provided a glimmer of hope in some other fashion, it would've affected me in another way. Today, like Celine did just eight months ago, in spite of the pain, grief and God-inspired release, I am also saying, "I'm going to try this until it works." I am also saying, "Grace is my lucky number and so this time it's got to work."

Of course it will...whether I feel like it will today or not:

"And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.'”---2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)

"If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself."---2 Timothy 2:13 (NKJV)

Cause here's another thing worth pondering (Proverbs 4:26). The reports of the babies' births are that they were over 5 lbs a piece. That's really good for twins and so I'm led to believe that they weren't preemies. This also leads me to believe that in February, because that was just eight months ago, there's a great chance that Celine was pregnant...and she just didn't know it. Yet. Ladies, there's a great chance that we are on the verge of receiving some of the very things that we are longing for as well. We just don't know it...yet.

"5" works wonders...and miracles...and new beginnings. Believe it.

I'm certainly choosing to. I am hopeful and hope does not disappoint.

Love (and grace) to you,


An Ounce of Prevention: Preparation

“There are four things which are little on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: the ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their food in the summer; the rock badgers are a feeble folk, yet they make their homes in the crags; the locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks; the spider skillfully grasps with its hands, and it is in kings’ palaces.”---Proverbs 30:24-28 (NKJV)

“If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend the first hour sharpening the ax.”---Abraham Lincoln

“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”---Matthew 13:18-23 (NKJV)

Maybe it’s just me, but when I read that Abraham Lincoln quote, one of the first things that came to my mind was, “Shoot, I wonder how many people even know what kind of tool to chop the tree down with in the first place.”

Preparation. It’s vital. In all things.

I didn’t wake up expecting (Ephesians 3:20) to do another devotional today. Yet, on my mind this morning was a promise in Scripture…followed by a question from the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP). It was a doozy.

“’Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.’

Thomas said to Him, ‘Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?’

Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”’---John 14:1-7 (NKJV)

OK before I begin, let’s “pause and ponder” (Proverbs 4:26) on something else for just a moment. I know a lot of, let’s just, say zealous Christians who spend a lot of time (and energy and effort) trying to convince non-Christians that unless they acknowledge Christ as their Savior, they will not make it into heaven. And, they are usually using “No one comes to the Father except through me” as their argument. I am a disciple (John 8:31) and so I am not here to refute the theology. I am just encouraging people to rethink the methodology just a bit. I Timothy 4:6 says that a good minister of Christ is nourished in the words of faith and of good doctrine that they follow. I Timothy 4:16 (NKJV) implores us to, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 

Arguing doctrine? The Pharisees spent a lot of time doing that (AMP: Mark 8:11, Luke 5:21) and pardon me for saying it, but it seemed to get on Christ’s nerves just a bit (Mark 2:8). In John 14:1-7, Christ didn’t say that he was a man who was perfect and unless we acknowledged that, heaven would not be in our future. He said that he was the way, the truth and the life. His life model revealed these things to us. The way he did things is the way Adonai desires for us to do them. The truth he spoke is the truth about what Adonai wants us to know. The life he lived revealed the way Adonai encourages us to live our lives as well. Our mission should be to point, by example, people to the way, the truth and the life. When Christ was on the earth, his doctrine (which is basically just a collective of teachings) was to bring people to the knowledge of an abundant life (John 10:10). By us applying the Bible, the collective teachings (I mean, even just following Proverbs for a month will change one’s life for the better!) that a discipline should desire to follow (2 Timothy 3:16-17), in deed and truth (I John 3:18) in our own lives, we reflect the likeness (Genesis 1:26-28) of Elohim. Through that intimacy we gain the access into the kingdom of heaven…and heaven. The difference between the two is a devotional message for another time. My point? If people are refuting Christ, we really should take some time to look within ourselves as to why. All Christ did was come to bring life. That shouldn’t be such a bitter pill to swallow.


Have you ever had a nurse attempt (key word) to take your blood, give you a shot or put in an I.V. and yet she can’t seem to locate a vein? It’s not even remotely comfortable and after awhile, even if what she’s trying to do to you is for your benefit, you’re so sick of being poked and prodded that you’d really rather just be left alone. When it comes to teaching Christianity, the Word would be the I.V. and many of us would be the irritating nurse in this scenario (LOL). Something can be “life giving” but the method in which it’s given causes you to reject it anyway. Just something to think about.

Yet, that’s not the main point of the message.

“I Go to Prepare a Place for You”

After reading the promise in John again, immediately I heard the Comforter say to me: “Now if your Savior had to leave this earth to make preparations for you, how much more do you need to prepare for the things that you desire in this life?”

Hmph. It really is kinda deep, ain’t it? Christ needs to make preparations…for us? In heaven, do things really need to be “put in proper condition or readiness” or to be made “suitable in advance for a particular purpose”? In the sense of it being difficult for my mind to understand, at first, I wasn’t totally sure. I do know that’s what the Word says. Seek and ye shall find (Matthew 7:7-8), right? I wanted to know more.

In my research, I discovered that the Hebrew word for “prepare” is “qadash” (pronounced kaw-dash’). It also means “to consecrate”, “sanctify”, “dedicate”, “be hallowed”, “be holy”, “be sanctified”, “be separate”. Another reason to embrace the Seventh-Day Sabbath? The Lord prepares it for us because it’s the one day that Scripture specifically defines as “holy” and “hallowed” (Exodus 20:8-11). Indeed, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27) and special things happen when things are especially prepared for you. Every day in a covenant marriage should have its elements of wonderful; however, there’s nothing like a wedding day and the anniversaries that follow. Those days are prepared for the couple in a sacred way that’s distinctive from all of the others. I’m sure you see where I’m going with this. I’ll leave it alone now.

So as I thought about Christ saying that he was going to consecrate, sanctify and dedicate a place for me (and you), then I got what the Comforter wanted me to understand and share (Luke 12:12). When something is dedicated, it is “set apart”. Psalm 4:3 (NKJV) tells us, “But know that the Lord has set apart for Himself him who is godly” (a wonderful thought all within itself!). However, when something is dedicated, it’s also “to mark the official completion or opening of (a public building, monument, highway, etc.), usually by formal ceremonies”. The entire book of Revelation speaks to the process leading up to the Second Coming and the “dedication ceremony” once completion (James 1:4) has taken place. Once our spirits are prepared for what the Godhead is preparing. Amazing! For real. Yet what made me smile, especially wide today is that more and more, I’m seeing what the Liar (John 8:44) tries so hard for me to see less and less of (no wonder he’s referred to as “darkness”-2 Corinthians 6:14-16): that the Lord is excited to see me! He loves me so much that he’s further perfecting a place that’s already…well, perfected. That’s how awesome he thinks I am. That’s how fearfully and wonderfully (Psalm 139:14) he made me!

Then I thought about the various preparations that are required here on earth. How impatient I can be when it comes to desiring the manifestation of certain things in this life. How much I tend to want to avoid the preparation process (and it is, indeed, a process). However, the more that I embrace my spirit and the less that I attend to the callings of my flesh (Galatians 5:16), the more “like my Daddy” I see that I am. The prophet Jeremiah once penned that the Lord came to him and said, “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.” (Jeremiah 31:3-NKJV) One of my favorite words is “incessant” and that’s what everlasting means. When something is incessant, it’s “without interruption”, “ceaseless” and “unending”. It’s constant. It’s indefatigable (love that!). It’s round-the-clock. It’s relentless. Towards the Enemy, Abba’s feelings are relentless in the sense of being determined to fight my battles for me (Zechariah 14:3, Psalm 18:2). Towards me, his feelings are unyielding. They’re determined. They’re fixed. They’re uncompromising and unwavering. They’re absolute.

He absolutely loves me. And you.

His love is deep-rooted, ever-present, fixed and habitual (he has a habit of loving us!). His love is ingrained, persistent, rooted, settled and tenacious. His love is decisive, emphatic, established and purposeful. And it’s this kind of love that Theotes (Greek for “Godhead”) is using to prepare heaven for us. When you love something in this way, you want everything to be just right. You want all that you have to offer to be purposefully prepared.

So, why would the Lord expect any less of the beings that were chosen to represent him here?

The Purpose of Preparation

“Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more.”---Psalm 10:17-18 (NKJV)

In Matthew 7:7-8, the Lord says, “Ask, and it will be given to you…for everyone who asks receives.”  When you make a petition to God and it’s within his will (Psalm 37:4, Matthew 18:19, John 9:31), the Word says that you will receive it. OK, but have you ever looked up the definition of “receive”? Yes, it is “to take into one’s possession”. It’s also to “take into the mind; apprehend mentally” (that would be faith, right?-Hebrews 11:1). It’s also to (single fellas) “have delivered or brought to one” (Genesis 2:22). It’s also “to get or be informed of”. It’s also “to meet with; experience”. It’s also “to react to in the specified manner” (Psalm 100:4). It’s also to “support or sustain”. What you ask for, you must be in the position to support and sustain it. Yes, that would require preparation.

Those who know me know that I love it that King David was inspired to pen, “May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose.” (Psalm 20:4-NKJV) Yet, Psalm 10:17 says that after eh hem, humility, comes a season of heart preparation. Before our heart can have what it desires, it must be prepared to receive it. It must take “it” into the mind. It must be informed of “it”. It must react to “it” in a specified manner oftentimes before we can take “it” into our possession…before we can “experience” it. This is the only way we’ll truly be able to support and sustain it once we have it.

Yet, wouldn’t that make perfect sense? Why have something you’re not ready for? Why get a good or perfect gift (cause the Word says that all gifts from God are good/perfect-James 1:17) when you are still in a stage of “gift receiving development”? Why receive something that’s “qualified” when you yourself are not even “settled”? Indeed, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein” (Psalm 24:1-NKJV) and the “ah ha moment” for me was that when it comes to receiving from the Lord, the person/place/thing/idea that we desire must be prepared and we, on the receiving end, must also be prepared. Once we are ready for “it” and “it” is ready for us, we will have it.


Once we are “completely prepared or in fit condition for immediate action or use”.

Once we are “duly equipped, completed, adjusted, or arranged, as for an occasion or purpose”.

Once we are “in such a condition as to be imminent; likely at any moment”.

When will that be? Only the Lord knows that for sure (Acts 1:7-Message). However, stay hopeful (Romans 5:5). His definition of ready vs. yours just may surprise you. Stay surrendered to his will. He’ll let you know the deal (Jeremiah 33:3, Proverbs 29:18-Message).

What Readies You

So, what do you do in the meantime? This is what got me all in a tizzy (in a good way) today: you love “it” the way the Lord loves us: Everlastingly. Incessantly. Relentlessly. Absolutely.

Cause here’s what I realized. A lot of us do not get to the point of being able to enjoy the fullness of an answered prayer because love is not what motivates us re: what we long for in the first place. Lust and pride are usually the culprits (I John 2:16). One thing I do adore about the story of Jacob and Rachel is that it says that although he worked seven years for her (actually it was more like 14 years and a week-Genesis 29:15-30), it felt like only a few days. Love did this. Whatever Jacob had to do in preparation to get ready for what he longed to receive, he was willing to do it. He loved her just that much.

For some of us, I think this is a similar “do or die” time. How much do you really want what you want? I’ll speak for myself. As I’m learning more about just how patient love really is (I Corinthians 13:4) and that the point of patience is to get me to a state of completion (James 1:4), the more I am learning about the things that my flesh craves vs. what my spirit desires. When you really love something/one, you really just want to be as prepared as possible to support and sustain it/them. Would you like it today? Sure. Yet, if you’re not ready…not really. Your love wants it to feel loved. You want to do all that God requires of you to make that possible (Matthew 19:26, Mark 9:23) because when something is received in love, therein lies affection and allegiance and devotion and enjoyment and fidelity and friendship and passion and respect. Most of all, therein is God (I John 4:8 & 16). Patience brings you to love. Love brings you to God. Preparation is what gets all of this started.

I’m 36. At 32, the Lord gave me Isaiah 54 and told me to sing, even as a barren woman, because I would have more children than the women with children. I now mentor teen mothers. Years before that, he told me that I would have a son named “Perez”. This year he highly-recommended (LOL) that I become a doula (labor support). Remember how the Amplified Version of Proverbs 16:33 says that even what seems like accidents are of the Lord? Last week, I went to pick up something from a friend and he introduced me to a pregnant woman. She’s been considering a doula (we’re gonna meet up this week). Yet, do you know what she’s going to name her son? Judah. My future son comes from the tribe of Judah! A man by the name of George Will once said, “The future has a way of arriving unannounced.” Kinda like how the Bible speaks of the bridegroom coming for the bridal party, eh (Matthew 25:1-13)? If I’m not careful, I could spend so much time obsessing over Perez’s arrival that I’ll miss out on how decent and orderly the Lord is with me (I Corinthians 14:40). The Lord told me I would have a son. I asked him to prepare me to be the best kind of mother for/to him and the Lord is doing just that. My love for Perez is transitioning out of human time and into the experience of everlasting. Just learning how to love him, in ways I never knew possible, is making the calendar seem…irrelevant. I want my son when I’m ready to be his mom. I love him enough to wait.

Love is patient.

My prayer? If you were really anxious (Philippians 5:6-7) before reading this, I’m hoping on this side of the devotional, you’re sensing a level of calm---a peace in the midst of the storm (Psalm 107:29), if you will. Truly, once you’ve made your request known, the request shouldn’t be that much of an issue. You can (and should) trust your Father to do what’s best for you. The free-setting truth (John 8:32) is that some of us are so busy “requesting” that we are missing what he’s using to prepare us for what we’ve asked for. A woman by the name of Barbara De Angelis once said, “Only when your consciousness is totally focused on the moment you are in can you receive whatever gift, lesson, or delight that moment has to offer.” Receive what God’s going to use, even today, to ultimately grant you your heart’s desire. When you’re faithful in the little things (Luke 19:17)…yeah, you know the drill.

He loves us enough to prepare.

Follow his example.

Love what you desire enough to do the same.

©Shellie R. Warren/2010

An Ounce of Prevention: The Marital Bed: Built (and Formed) to Last

“Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”---I Corinthians 7:3-5 (NKJV)

“To hear many religious people talk, one would think God created the torso, head, legs and arms, but the devil slapped on the genitals.”---Don Schrader

“Therefore hear the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful. But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”---Matthew 13:19-23 (NKJV)

Yeah. Well.

A lot of us hear (and quote) that the anointing breaks the yoke. The actual biblical phrasing is, “The yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil” (Isaiah 10:27). While I do pray that this message will shed some “anointed light” on a particular part of yahasey min (Hebrew for “sexual relations”) that continues to seem to be kept in the dark (and in darkness, spiritually, evil dwells-Proverbs 4:19), I personally think it could/would/should only help marital covenant partners to anoint one another prior to entering the marital bed…on a consistent basis. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, there really seems to be a lot of non-Christ-like yokes (Matthew 11:30) up in there! I truly believe that if people will open up their minds to receive this message, though, that the Lord will enlighten their darkness (Psalm 18:28). After all, he created sex. ABBA. CREATED. SEX.

However, as I was reading some statistics on sex in America, really, if there’s any place where the Liar’s (John 8:44) lies are believed, if there’s any place where pure selfishness and flesh exist, it would be when it comes to this issue. It’s too big of a beast to tackle in one devotional and so I will just address a couple of statistics that I came upon as it relates to husbands and wives: Ishs (Hebrew for “man” and “husband” interchangeably) and Ezer Kenegdos (Hebrew for “wife”):

Marriage.About.Com reported that while Americans have sex more than any other place in the world (a real shocker, right?), couples shackin’ up have it about 146 times per year; singles, 49 times per year and married people? In between: 98 times per year (is there still 365 days in a calendar year? I thought so!-LOL).

A 2003 Durex study revealed that people who actually do have a semi-frequent sex life are those who have sex mostly in the summer, winter or after a fight (sounds like when things are…extreme) and that 48% of women admitted to faking an orgasm (faking something is lying! Lying is sinful-I Timothy 1:8-11).

What I also appreciated about the Durex study is that it provided some physical and emotional reasons as to why these stats may be what they are. Two of the emotional ones were that 1) couples may have unresolved differences that prevent them from enjoying sex together and 2) many tend to have unhealthy attitudes about sex---one spouse may have been raised to think that sex is more of a duty than something to derive pleasure from. Yet, after hearing some of the “spiritual warfare marital sex stories” that people often share with me (I think it’s because I am so open about the topic and I love doing research on it), I implore us all to consider another option…angle…perspective as to why many couples may be struggling so much sexually:

1)    People don’t think that James 3:16 (NKJV) applies to the marriage bed: “For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.”

2)    The lead Scriptures for today are ill-defined.
After prayer and pondering (Proverbs 4:26), I believe this is what the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP) wants me to address (Luke 12:12) today. Indeed, where there is clarity (Matthew 7:7-8), there is oftentimes comfort.

Men Are Formed. Women Are Built.

The reason why this message is entitled, “The Marital Bed: Built (and Formed) to Last” is because in hearing the stories of others, both husbands and wives, who are…let’s just say currently dissatisfied with their sex lives, because an ounce of prevention is indeed worth a pound of cure, I often find myself doing all that I can to help others…and prepare myself. What I discovered last night was brilliant. Simply brilliant! It’s kind of another subject for another time but it amazes me how, even some marital covenant couples (Genesis 2:24-25, Malachi 2:15, I Corinthians 6:8-10), without realizing it, have a homosexual spirit in their bedroom. Physically, they may not want to engage in intimacy with the same sex yet emotionally and mentally, that seems to be exactly what they desire…or are at least trying to achieve. In other words, we are made differently for a reason and it goes way beyond our genitalia. We should embrace that, not manipulate it. My discovery yesterday helps to confirm this fact:

“A substantial amount of rabbinical interpretation of the Bible is derived from the relation between root words. For example, the rabbis concluded that G-d created women with greater intuition and understanding than men, because man was ‘formed’ (yitzer, Gen. 2:7) while woman was ‘built’ (yiben, Gen. 2:22). The root of ‘built,’ Beit-Nun-Hei, is very similar to the word ‘binah’ (Beit-Yod-Nun-Hei), meaning understanding, insight or intuition.”---JewFaq.Org

Men were formed (came from a mold). Women were built (to establish, increase, strengthen). Put those two things together and it could very well mean that a woman/wife was brought into man/husband’s life to increase and strengthen his mold. That would like a lot like favor, right (Proverbs 18:22)? I mean, could there not be a marriage conference held on this gem of insight, alone? However, what I really wanted to focus on for a moment is that this writing says that the root of the Hebrew word for “built” is very similar to the Hebrew word for understanding, insight and intuition. And husbands, what does the Word say?

“Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.”---I Peter 3:7 (NKJV)

Fellas, this is not a suggestion. This is a command. You are “to live or continue in a given condition or state” of “knowledge of or familiarity with” your Beloved; you are to work to obtain a “skill in dealing with or handling” her. There are consequences when you don’t. Prayers are hindered.

At the same time, ladies, you are not off of the hook. Proverbs 14:1 (NKJV) says that “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” Last I checked, most peoples bedrooms were in their homes (LOL). Again, interesting (and I’m sure not happenstance---Proverbs 16:33-AMP) that a woman was built and then in turn, King Solomon was inspired (2 Timothy 3:16-17) to pen that a wise woman builds her home. She is entrusted to establish, increase and strengthen it. She is “to make in a particular way or for a particular purpose” the place in which she and her Beloved live. That’s a lot of power, ladies that we are entrusted with. Submission (Ephesians 5:22) has its place. Strength does as well (Proverbs 31:17 & 25).

Yet while sexual relations, in El Berith, the God of Covenant’s design was only to be for married people, other statistics reveal that 1) sex is the #1 topic researched on the Internet; 2) 22% of men have strayed at least once in their marriage and 14% of woman have done the same; 3) adultery affects one of every 2.7 couples…and yet 90% of Americans believe that adultery is morally wrong ( It’s wrong to do it, yet so many people (whether physically or emotionally) are. Obviously, sex is a big deal. Just not where it matters most.

And, this is what takes us to the two points that the Comforter led me to.

(Solely) Self-Seeking Sex Is Confusing. Oh, and Evil.

If there’s any place that service and humility should be present, does it not seem like it would be the marital bed? Hebrews 13:4 tells us that the marriage bed is undefiled. This means it’s pure. It’s free from anything that’s contaminating. It’s clear and true. It’s free from guilt (Romans 8:1). It’s (yep…see why we all shoulda waited until marriage?) “independent of sense or experience”. In other words, it’s moral and righteous. You don’t bring your sexual past (in word or deed) into the marital bed. You don’t make comparisons in the marital bed. And your ego? Yeah…check that, preferably at the front porch as well (LOL). Real talk? You can’t be prideful and pure at the same time (trust me, I’ve tried many times. Epic fail). The Bible says that he who has clean hands and a pure heart will receive a blessing from the Lord (yahasey min is a blessing from the Lord---Psalm 24:4-5) and while this actually is in reference to how elders are to treat members of the Church, because “elder” also means someone who is in a higher ranking (and ladies, it does say that we are to be honored as the weaker vessel…keep it all in context and exhale-LOL), I think I Timothy 5:22 could should applied as well: “Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.”

A lot of the wives that I talk to? They feel like their partners have sex at them rather than with them; like they are a sex object and not a covenant partner. This can only be because either envy (wanting some form of lust you used to engage in or that you witness outside of your marital bed-I John 2:16) or self-seeking exists. On a good day, that’s confusing. On a bad night? Pure evil (Satan is self-seeking and selfish, is he not?-John 10:10). When you’re just out to “get yours” in marital covenant, yep, because a woman is to be handled with understanding, it often confuses her (and God doesn’t cause confusion, remember?-I Corinthians 14:33); even when it doesn’t, the Word says that it’s morally wrong, it’s harmful, it’s injurious, it’s…disastrous. See how the Liar flips it? You think by making you the priority in sexual pleasure that it’s not a set up. The Word tells us just the opposite. When you seek for self, misfortune and suffering, which can come in the form of a series of unfortunate sexual experiences, are a shoe-in…one way or another…one time or another.

Galatians 5:13 (NKJV) encourages, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”  The freedom that God gives husbands and wives to engage in yahasey min is not so they can act like some street-corner pimps or prostitutes…it’s not so they can reenact some scene from their sexual past (marriage is in Christ and so even your marital bed should be a new creation-2 Corinthians 5:17).  Flesh should not be the focus of marital relations. Actually, covenant sex should tame the flesh because it’s a spiritual (spirit-ritual) experience. It’s an opportunity for mutual service…through true love. Married sex should be filled with mutual patience and kindness…hope and yep, endurance (I Corinthians 13:4-8). It’s not a performance. It’s a sacred event.

Which is what brings us to point #2.

Affection and Authority Are (Top) Priorities

Why, oh why, do wives trip about their husbands having authority over their bodies? It’s not like their husbands came up with that. They need to take that up with his Creator! However, after you see one definition of the Word, I think you’ll realize that your Father is in your corner more than you may give him credit for!

However, let’s deal with another “A” word, first: Affection.

Husbands, you do see that while mutual affection is to be present that the Lord shouted YOU out first, right? To “render” something is to exhibit or show it. You are admonished, by God, to show a “fond attachment”, “devotion” and “love” for your helpmeet. You are to be tender (in word and deed) towards her. You are to care for her, show concern for her, extend friendship and warmth towards her. This is how she feels desired (“desire” is another definition of affection). This is what sets the stage for (healthy) passionate (“passion” is a definition of affection too) experiences. And fellas, remember that she was BUILT. She has an intuition, a keen insight, of when things are not sincere. If your sex life is not what you desire (and yes, a doctor work-up couldn’t hurt, either), this is something that should be explored. How…God that the Word would mention a couple being affectionate before they should not deprive one another. How…man that a lot of us would try and overlook this fact. And, check the Scriptures again. The Word does not say, “Do your wife a solid and be nice to her for once.” It says that affection is something that’s due. When something is “due” it’s (whew!) “owing or owed, irrespective of whether the time of payment has arrived”. This means that it’s not an “If this then” situation. You are to be affectionate towards her even when she’s not towards you. Yes, the Word says that she is to be as well…oh, yet what would marriage be like if they all were mutual and balanced all of the time? Serving your wife is serving the Lord. Sick of doing that? Yeah, there’s a Word for that as well:

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”---Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

And what you may reap is what brings us to the other “A” word: Authority.

Yeah, I know that women often cringe at this part of the program (although, you do know that you have authority over your husband’s body as well, right? Are you taking it?); however, I think people often think of the word being defined as “the power or right to delegate”. To me, when it comes to sex, especially since our flesh and spirit lust against one another (Galatians 5:16-17), that sounds like it can lead to some idolatry (I Corinthians 10:14) if people are not careful to keep things in a godly perspective. No, actually, I think the definition that better fits this situation is “an expert on a subject”.

In covenant, a man should become an expert on his wife and her needs and a wife should do the same for her husband. Becoming your spouse’s (sexual) authority means that you are making it a point to develop special distinctive and extensive skills as it relates to your partner. Another definition of “expert” is that you’re “trained by practice”. In other words, no one should know your spouse like you do…in every way. Absolutely no one. Becoming an expert doesn’t happen overnight, either (hence, the “trained by practice” part). To become one you must be “able”, “dexterous” and “knowledgeable”. Now, to be an expert re: someone else’s body? To know them as well, if not better, than they do themselves? Um, that takes some mad humility because that means you have to be willing and ABLE to listen and learn. The Lord says that if you acknowledge him, he will direct you (Proverbs 3:6). Hmph. He also said he has no use for the prayers of those who do not listen to him (Proverbs 28:9-Message). Don’t be so prideful in thinking that you know what’s best, that you are an expert, just because you hold a certain title. A lot of us get hired for a job. It’s after that that the real work (James 2:14-26) begins.

No wonder the “old school translations” of the Bible say that couples “knew” each other, huh? Can you really partake of the true pleasures of marital sex without knowing someone? Wives, without embracing that your husband was molded (someone or something that serves to illustrate the typical qualities of a class; model; exemplar) from the image of Elohim? Husbands, without celebrating that your wife was built, by that same Godhead, to aid in strengthening your mold? Couples, without making affection a lifestyle and authority a priority?

Yes. The Word does say that couples are not to deprive one another. That’s also not a suggestion but a command. However, it’s not just about not gettin’ any. When someone is deprived, it means they are going without a certain kind of enjoyment or pleasure. TO FEEL DEPRIVED OF SEX, YOU MUST ENJOY IT…first. You don’t just give room for the Enemy (I Peter 5:8) by not engaging in yahasey min, but by not engaging one another, period. When affection and authority are in place, when envy and self-seeking do not exist…when clean hands and a pure heart are the focus, joy and pleasure are sure to follow! The Word says that the Lord does not take pleasure in wickedness (Psalm 5:4) but in the prosperity of his servant (Psalm 35:27). Couples, you are to serve one another.

My prayer is that this message was received in the spirit that it was given: love and faith that joy and peace will be restored in sexually-broken marriages; some that I know of, some that I don’t. I love the lead quote because we, as a Church, have done a HUGE DISSERVICE to many by not addressing the plan and purpose for sexuality (“Sacred Sex” by Tim Alan Gardner, “Sex God” by Rob Bell and “Sheet Music” by Kevin Leman are all great reads on the issue). The devil wants the world to abuse it and us to not respect it; for us to act like to came from him and not the Creator. On a lot of levels, he has been succeeding.

Don’t let him in your marriage. Remember, greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world (I John 4:4) and what God has joined together, let no man (or evil entity) separate (Matthew 19:6). Let NO ONE divide, force apart, disconnect…cause you to go in a different direction than your Beloved (Amos 3:3).

Marriage was supposed to last until death parts you. Sex is a part of marriage.

Both, without question, were built (and formed) to be the ultimate. To be exclusive.

They were built (and formed) to last.

©Shellie R. Warren/2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

"On Fire": Daddy's Girl...

Hey Ministers-in-Training,

So, have you made your 10...Again married covenant couple nomination yet? *crickets*

I mean, I know the answer to that. Y'all know I don't ask for much and so I would appreciate you *making the time* to do it. My goal is to get 12 months worth of couples blessed within the next several months so that I have more time to plan out for next year. For those of you who have honored the request, thank you much and be sure to hold on, closely, to I Corinthians 3:8. It's a gem of a promise! For the rest, you can send them to

As it relates to this week's message, I won't be with you long. The link referral that I have SPEAKS VOLUMES. I just wanted to send out a "hug and a prayer" to those who may be personally touched and/or affected, deeply, upon the viewing of a documentary that definitely resonated with me:

I love how orderly and systematic (I Corinthians 14:40) Elohim is. Just this week, I picked up some "Daddy's Girl" shirts from a friend of mine who had them printed up for his song project (shout out to Shannon Sanders and his wonderful ballad, "Daddy's Little Girl"). I wasn't sure why...this time. Yet, after I finished watching the documentary this morning and thought about how many of us have been affected/infected by a poor relationship with our father(s)/father figure(s) growing up, it all made sense.

Now, the good news is that I have 5 LG shirts to give away (I know my "surplus blessed sistahs". I wish I had some larger sizes. I just don't right now). However, this offer is for a *specific kind of woman*. It's for one who did not have a healthy relationship with her earthly father as a child and therefore has found herself struggling with having a healthy relationship with her Heavenly Father...sometimes even now. Which has, in turn, caused her to have some really toxic romantic relationships with other men.

The reason why I'm led (Luke 12:12) to make this plea to you, especially, is because I believe that the Lord is going to use this time and season to have you, as Ecclesiastes 3:5 says, "refrain from embracing" a romantic relationship so that the Lord can restore some things you may have lost in your childhood due to abuse, neglect or emotional trauma. The truth (John 8:32) is that some of us have yet to meet (or clearly recognize) our Beloved and it's because we keep dating our "Ghost of Abuse's Past"---a spirit of our father. We can't even discern if we're at the right time for a relationship or if the guy we're interested is truly right for us (Ecclesiastes 8:5-6) because we, in many ways, are still the little girl that had some of our innocence taken and joy broken.

If this is you, email me at so that I can send a reminder, in the form of a t-shirt, to you; a little token to tell you that before you were anyone's daughter here on earth, you were Abba's daughter, the King of Kings and Lord of Lord's female child (Revelation 19:16). YOU ARE ROYALTY (I Peter 2:9-10). You are magnificent...and excellent...and sovereign...and fine...and first-rate...and impressive...and honorable...and dignified...and resplendent...and supreme...and worthy...and HIGHBORN. As a child of Adonai, this is your birthright.

Esther was an orphan as a child, yet she left this world as a queen. 

It was her destiny. Royalty is your destiny.

And so, my prayer for you is that if you see yourself in the documentary, that you will take some time to ask (Matthew 7:7-8) your Heavenly Father if there are any unresolved issues between you and your earthly father and then how you should go about handling them (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). Some of you may not get the kind of closure you're looking for. As one of the people said in the documentary, sometimes you have to be your own closure. However, I do sense that more and more of us are getting closure to our "Ish" (Hebrew for "man" and "husband" interchangeably) and one thing I do know is that it's very unfair and highly-unrealistic (Ecclesiastes 7:18-Message) to expect our husbands to fix what they didn't damage in the first place. Truly, this is a time for real and resolute healing of our minds, bodies and spirits.

In the meantime, as you walk this journey (one that isn't always comfortable but take it from me is immensely beneficial), my prayer for you will be a verse that I was led to in Psalm 144:

"That our daughters may be as pillars, sculptured in palace style..." (verse 12)

That you will be a PILLAR. That you will allow the Lord to continue to build you into an "upright and supporting part" matter what he has to tear down in the process; that you will allow him (continue) to sculpture into palace style. Style is a mode of living. A palace is a place where royal families dwell. Let him show you what you are truly worthy of, as his daughter, a princess, so that you will have an emotional and spiritual palate to recognize and receive an earthly that you can reign alongside him as his queen.

This is a sacred time of healing and restoration. I am certain of it. Don't let it slip away from you.

I'm praying and love to you as always,


Sunday, October 10, 2010

"On Fire": "I'm Your Advocate. Not Your Voice."

"Wives, understand and support your husbands in ways that show your support for Christ."---Ephesians 5:22 (Message)

"For some reason, when you become a support to others, you become bigger than you are."---Susan Jeffers

Today, while two women I care about will be jumping brooms (congrats Carla and Rissi!!!), I will be sitting in a doula workshop. In some ways, I'm a bit disappointed because although there was no way that I could attend both weddings, it would have been nice to witness one of them on 10-10-10: Restoration-Restoration-Restoration (love that, t00!). Yet, I know that just as El Berith is cooking up something fabulous for those two women and their Beloveds (Ephesians 3:20), he has something fabulous in mind for me as well. Matter of fact, while sitting in class on yesterday, the Comforter (John 14:26-AMP) impressed upon one of my dearest male friends to send me the following Scripture:

"The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down."---Proverbs 14:1 (NIV) In his text, he followed that with: "No response required. Good luck in training."

Indeed, the Lord will perfect that which concerns me (Psalm 138:8)...and you too.

I won't be with you much longer. I actually want to try and get another hour (of sleep) in before class today. I just wanted to plant this seed as we go into another week. While I was in my workshop on yesterday, I watching a birthing video. In it, a doula (a form of birth support) said something that has stayed with me since I heard it come out of her mouth. In explaining her purpose as it relates to her position (catch that!), she said, "I am your advocate. I am not your voice." When we discussed the video, I found myself saying, "I wish a lot of marriages and friendships got that." And I do.

If you're following this blog, the purpose of this blog, then on some level, you are (probably) in marriage preparation. All I want to encourage you to do, as you continue to pray and seek (Matthew 7:7-8), is that you keep what this wise doula said close to your psyche. When someone is an advocate, they uphold and defend a cause...they support...they intercede on the behalf of another. The lead verse for this message tells us that is what a wife is supposed to do for her husband: what an Ezer Kenegdo is supposed to do for her Ish. If you are currently in a relationship where you are not doing this...where you are nagging, verbally berating, manipulating, challenging the man in the sense of being a hindrance to his purpose (his purpose comes before his favor...when things are done decently and in order-I Corinthians 14:40), then a wife-in-training? I'm not so sure that's what you are being. At least when it comes to being a positively-effective one.

As women, I'm finding more and more that so many of us are focused on "winning the prize" that we become possessive. A lot of people want the privileges of marital covenant without the responsibilities. ONE OF THOSE RESPONSIBILITIES IS SACRIFICE. A truly supportive person provides another with sympathy and encouragement. They give additional help and information. They assist in sustaining another individual by bearing them up and providing them, especially, with the emotional support that they need to maintain. This is the definition of a supportive person. This is how a wife is to love her husband.

Some folks falsely believe that they are supposed to come in and either "run the show" or "change the program". If you're not happy with how a single man is living his life, it's not your job to come in and rearrange it. If he's "making you sick" yet you sense that he may be who El Berith, the God of Covenant, has in mind for you, then prayer is your prescription. However, what I also loved about what the doula said is that even in the best relationships, it's not our job to be someone else's speak for them or make them someone they are not. We help them be better. WE HELP THEM TO BE BETTER. And, a healthy relationship is to do the same for us. Yep. It's that simple. Oh, but we choose to make it so hard.

Only YOU (and the Lord...and that person) know if you're doing this. However, if you are in a situation right now where you are seeking some clear guidance or additional answers (Jeremiah 33:3), what I would encourage you to do is ask the Lord if you are called to be that guy's advocate, and if so, if you are truly being supportive.

How will you know?

You'd be amazed how much (and fast) things grow...with the proper support...assistance...comfort...friendship...loyalty...reinforcement...SUPPORT. ;-)

Love to you,


Sunday, October 3, 2010

"On Fire": "Too YOUNG to Marry"

"The older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed."---Titus 2:3-5 (NKJV)

"A man's wife has more power over him than the state has."---Ralph Waldo Emerson

Me and have a love/hate relationship. I mean, how mad can you really get at something that provides you with free programming (that's where the "love" comes in)? At the same time, the amount of horror flick listings on there...just to get to a good film, whew (that's where the "hate" comes in)! I'm not sure who runs the site. I may have to check that out...later.

Anyway, as I was surfing through the flicks recently, I came upon a film that I've actually watched once or twice before (indeed, sometimes, Lifetime does get it at least 80% right-LOL). It's called "Too Young to Marry" and I saw that through a link on Hulu, the movie is featured on Lifetime's website until the end of the (October) month. Therefore, I'm going to list it on here as the "Thought of the Week".

I hope you all peeped the posting right before this message. Those of you on Facebook (and Twitter), would you please do me a favor and either re-post the note ("I Need Your Help!") or place the URL on your status alerting people to check it out? Also, I need each "On Fire" gal to go to the site and nominate a married couple that you think is deserving of a free-of-charge blessing. Remember, the person who plants the seed and the person who waters it...each will get there own reward (I Corinthians 3:8). We have been petitioning the Father for certain blessings. Here's a way to reap a good marital seed (Galatians 6:7-9). All you need to donate is some keystrokes and a bit of time. The Lord led me to start that marriage ministry to bring romantic restoration into those who are already married. This message is an "ounce of prevention" for those of us who aren't yet.

If you haven't seen the movie before, it's basically about two young people who are in love...and ill-prepared. Really in love. REALLY ILL-PREPARED. Now, they are two students of freshman-in-college age. Yeah, off top, a lot of people would probably say they are too young. However, two other definitions of "young" are "inexperienced" and "immature".

My prayer for each of you this week is that you will not marry while you are TOO YOUNG. Too spiritually inexperienced. Too spiritually immature.

OK, this isn't speaking to sex. If you look in the King James Version or New King James Version of the Bible, you will see that a woman is noted as "married" or a "virgin" (check out I Corinthians 6 and/or 7). If there's any place where we should be inexperienced and immature, it would be in the marriage bed on our wedding night (Hebrews 13:4). Amazing ain't it, how the world tells us otherwise. The world is sooooooooo foolish (I Corinthians 3:19). A good man is looking for a wife to love him. Not a hooker to turn tricks.

No, "immature", in this case, is speaking to what the lead Scripture speaks to. Titus says that older women are to teach younger women how to love their husbands and their children. How to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good and obedient to their husbands (how to to, as my friends Chris and Coreen Jackson say, "Get under the plan"). If you check out the movie, I think some of you will realize that some of us are a lot like those who characters in the film: in love with the concept of marriage...the romance of it all; however, we also are ill-prepared.

Some of us don't know the first thing about being a homemaker (there's a book called "Home Comforts" that teaches about homemaking. Check out the link on the left-hand side of this page). Some of us aren't chaste. If we're not still caught up in fornication (or adultery-crickets), we're engaging in something that is sexually-illicit...that's obscene (porn, masturbation, oral sex...which is sex, people. That's for the marriage bed, too!). Discreet? WHEW! Let me get my own self free with this one:

Discreet: judicious in one's conduct or speech, esp. with regard to respecting privacy or maintaining silence about something of a delicate nature; prudent; circumspect

Some of us are OK...but we need to be good. "Good" in the James 4:17 sense, which tells us that if we know to do good and we don't, it's considered a sin. Yes, some of us, no matter how strong the desire may be, are currently too young to marry.

And so, what I encourage you to do this week is focus on the Titus Scripture and ponder (Proverbs 4:26) on the area(s) you could vastly improve on. You may also want to ask the Lord to lead you to an older married woman who can mentor you in some ways. I have a couple. They are lifesavers (of course they would be! That's what an Ezer Kenegdo does!). Wanting to be married is one thing. Being ready for marriage is something else.

What is it my mother says? "Discernment prevents experience from being your teacher, right?"

Get married. When you're OLD (spiritually mature) enough. You and your (future) husband deserve it.

Lifetime has enough drama as it is. ;-)

Love to you,


Friday, October 1, 2010

"On Fire": I Need Your Help!

Hey Ladies,

Can you believe it's OCTOBER? Me neither. Yet, I am so "totally stoked" (LOL) about it. This is the 10th month of the year 2010. "10" biblically symbolizes "Restoration" and so I'm excited to see what you all will have to tell me by the end of the month. I am praying that some *really clear miracles* will be made manifest.

Now on to what I need you for.

Today, I premiered a new ministry to my devotional list. It's called, "10...Again" and it's basically a website that's devoted to restoring the romance in married couples. People will submit a nomination, I will go through them once a month and then reward a chosen couple with a "Grand Prize" that's free of charge to them. Also, similar to how I rolled on Facebook (still pondering the return of that-LOL), I will be doing random giveaways each month to other husbands and/or wives.

What I need from you is to nominate (at least) one covenant couple that you think is deserving. It will take awhile for the word to get out and I want to be able to bless a couple starting in November and so if each of you commit to one, it will help get this ball to rolling. And, I think it's a great way to plant a seed into your own future covenant. After all, we reap what we sow, right? A free night of dinner and dancing or second honeymoon would be (sigh) so on point! Also, the first 10 single people to nominate a couple gets a free autographed copy of my book, "Pure Heart: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Integrity". Hopefully, you'll see this all as a win-win (LOL):

OK, lots to do today and so that's all I've got for you right now. I will be back with a new "On Fire" a few days.

Thanks in advance for helpin' a sistah out. SO EXCITED to see what Elohim is gonna do (Ephesians 3:20)!

Love to you,